Books

  Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English LanguageBy Amanda Montell(Harper Wave) In Wordslut, journalist and linguist Amanda Montell introduces the subject of sociolinguistics—where the studies of language and human sociology intersect—and invites readers to look at various ways of communicating in the English language through a feminist lens. With humor and passion for the subject, and supplemented by fascinating asides, Montell illuminates the significance of dozens of words and linguistic habits. Some are charged or controversial (catcalls, insults, the infamous vocal fry), while others...
  A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story Of Faith, Love, And OvercomingBy Kerri Rawson(Thomas Nelson) Kerri Rawson’s memoir starts on the worst day of her life. It “had begun as just another cold day,” she writes of February 25, 2005. But it ended with her discovering that her dad, Dennis Lynn Rader, was the BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) killer. Rawson grapples with the times both before and after she was a serial killer’s daughter. Like those her dad murdered—“taking 10 lives over 17 years, then living the...
    The Need By Helen Phillips (Simon & Schuster) Award-winning author Helen Phillips’ newest novel, The Need, is a literary fever dream. After a mysterious home intruder interrupts Molly’s mundane life as a mother and scientist, she is drawn into a world that had much darker plans for her family. Molly experiences both the outlandish and the relatable while navigating snack time and parallel universes. And, as it turns out, existential dread does not sit well in a car seat.  The often distorted perspectives that come...
    Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko HaramBy Isha Sesay(HarperCollins) In April 2014, 276 young female students were kidnapped by Boko Haram—a jihadist Nigerian terrorist group—for trying to get an education in Chibok, a small town in Borno State, Nigeria. This horrific act inspired the famous social media hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, which you might’ve seen promoted by influential women including Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, and Malala Yousafzai. In Beneath the Tamarind Tree, Isha Sesay, a former CNN International anchor, details...
The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays By Esmé Weijun Wang(Graywolf Press)   An autobiography told through author Esmé Weijun Wang’s most pivotal, painful, and significant experiences with mental illness, The Collected Schizophrenias is a no-holds-barred portrayal of a diagnosis that has been misunderstood for far too long. In the first essay, Wang opens with the facts: the DSM’s definition of schizoaffective disorder, and her official diagnosis eight years after her first hallucination. From there, Wang delves into more personal experiences: weighing whether she can have children; attending in-patient treatment; and navigating—then ultimately...
Territory of Light: A NovelBy Yūūko Tsushima(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)     A mother raising a child on her own is perhaps one of the world’s most ubiquitous tales. Heart and hope pair well with despair and anxiety in author Yūko Tsushima’s novel Territory of Light, about a mother who divorces, battles depression, and overcomes financial barriers in the heart of Tokyo. Originally published in 12 chapters in the Japanese literary magazine Gunzō in the late 1970s, this English translation of the story by Geraldine Harcourt is...
Bowlaway: A NovelBy Elizabeth McCracken(Ecco) Elizabeth McCracken’s last novel was released 18 years ago, and although there’ve been short stories and a soul-shaking memoir to fill the void, here comes Bowlaway to make up for lost time. Whole lives through multiple generations are described on these pages. But the story opens with the simple discovery of someone sleeping in an early 20th-century cemetery in Massachusetts—an adult orphan who soon transforms the town with her split skirts, peculiar preferences, and passion for candlepin bowling.  Like any family’s story,...
  Pam Grossman is known to be a badass in the occult scene: she’s respected and admired for her knowledge and dedication to her magical practice. The author and host of “The Witch Wave” podcast has just written a new book—which is amazing in every way.  In Pam Grossman’s latest book, Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power, she reflects on her journey to becoming a witch, creating an alchemical blend of honesty, sincerity, wisdom, strength, and humor. From her explorations as a “teen witch” to...
  What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About: Fifteen Writers Break the SilenceEdited by Michele Filgate(Simon & Schuster)      Editor Michele Filgate’s anthology, What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About, is a book revealing just that—unspoken conversations between authors and their mothers that have shaped their relationships for better or worse. It was inspired by Filgate’s Longreads essay by the same name, which grappled with her stepfather’s abuse, her mother’s silence, and the wedge it drove between them. Moving and important, the essay went viral...

Thick: And Other Essays By Tressie McMillan Cottom (The New Press) Tressie McMillan Cottom’s essay collection, Thick, illuminates social structures that assure the failure of many, but most especially Black women. From dismissal of Black pain to capitalism’s hunger for inadequacy, the truths Cottom tackles not only need to be heard but also demand to be believed. Readers will feel both engaged by the author’s quippy cadence and impressed by her absolute authority on the subjects of beauty, media, money, and how these forces intersect with Black feminism. The...